- Cultural Toledo
- Iberian lynx
- Medieval Avila
- Windmills of Consuegra
- All breakfasts and more
A dream for history enthusiasts
Break away from the usual tourist trail on this escorted tour exploring the medieval heritage of Spain’s heartland. Follow in Don Quixote’s footsteps in undulating La Mancha, discover the homeland of the Conquistadors in Extremadura, and visit the cathedrals of Salamanca. Contrast this with wildlife watching in Monfragüe National Park, and complete the experience with tastings of the local wine and cuisine for a wonderful insight into this historic yet understated region.
9 nights in hotels
14 meals: 9 breakfasts (B) and 5 dinners (D)
Saga tour manager
- Return flights and transfers
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
Included excursions and visits
- Guided walk of UNESCO-listed Toledo
- Tour Don Quixote’s La Mancha
- Tour of historic Trujillo
- Walks in Monfragüe National Park
- Visit UNESCO-listed Cáceres
- Visit traditional Montánchez
- La Alberca tour
- Visit to Ciudad Rodrigo
- Guided tour of Salamanca
- Visit Segovia
- Ávila orientation walk
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
- Day 1 UK-Toledo
- Day 2 Toledo
- Day 3 La Mancha
- Day 4 Toledo to Monfragüe
- Day 5 Monfragüe National Park
- Day 6 Montánchez and Cáceres
- Day 7 Monfragüe to Salamanca
- Day 8 Salamanca
- Day 9 Salamanca to Ávila
- Day 10 Ávila to UK
Hospederia Parque de Monfragüe
Grand Hotel Corona Sol
Exe Reina Isabel
Day 1 UK-Toledo
Fly to Madrid and transfer to the 4-star Eurostars Toledo (3Q) in Toledo for a three-night stay (45 miles, one hour). D
Day 2 Toledo
History enthusiasts and old romantics are sure to experience love at first sight in 2,000-year-old Toledo. Set on a rocky outcrop almost ringed by the River Tagus, medieval, Moorish, Jewish and Christian monuments crowd every spare inch of this UNESCO-listed walled town.
An included guided walking tour is the only way to admire the sights, including the church of Santo Tomé – home of El Greco’s masterpiece, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz‘ – and the splendid cathedral, which took three centuries to complete after construction began in the 13th century.
The afternoon will be at leisure – a great opportunity to explore the city independently and perhaps visit the Museo del El Greco, home to more works of art by Mannerist who lived here for a spell in the 16th century. This afternoon your can explore the sights at your leisure, perhaps visiting the cathedral or touring Toledo by train. B
Day 3 La Mancha
Head out across the rolling Spanish countryside on a tour of La Mancha; the backdrop to Don Quixote’s bumbling adventures in Miguel Cervantes’ 1604 book – the world’s best-selling novel to date. Highlights include the unusual arcaded square at Almagro, and a beautifully preserved example of a 17th century Corral de Comedias theatre, where you’ll have free time for lunch, and the 11 restored windmills at Consuegra, which march in a photogenic line across a ridge. B
Day 4 Toledo to Monfragüe
Travel to Monfragüe, pausing in the Conquistador town of Trujillo en route. Your Tour Manager will guide a sightseeing tour exploring the labyrinthine lanes and seeing the bronze statue of the city’s most famous son, Francisco Pizarro who ruthlessly brought the Inca Empire to submission.
Continue to Monfragüe (135 miles, two hours and 30 minutes) for a three-night stay at the 4-star Hospederia Parque de Monfragüe (4Q). After settling in, join a half-day guided walk around a reservoir in Monfragüe National Park, one of Spain’s most important wilderness areas: there are more than 200 species that call the woodlands, pastures and scrubland home, including all manner of reptiles, otters, wild boar and even the rarely-sighted Spanish lynx. B, D
Day 5 Monfragüe National Park
Turn your eyes to the skies as you venture into Monfragüe National Park, one of Europe’s best birdwatching habitats. Black storks, griffon and Egyptian vultures, golden and imperial eagles and cross-looking eagle owls can all be spotted here. Your full-day trip includes a walk up to the Devil’s Leap, where you can learn about the folklore surrounding the park, and Peñafalcón, a rocky crag that’s home to a large colony of griffon vultures – make sure you have your binoculars to hand! B, D
Day 6 Montánchez and Cáceres
This morning, continue to the small town of Montánchez, famous for its cured ham. Visit a local farm first where you can learn about the concept of La Dehesa, the natural environment which makes this ham the best in Spain, helped by a diet of acorns! Then you can see how the meat is cured at a secadero before enjoying a taste test to judge its flavour for yourself.
Cáceres’ historic tug of war between rival Christians and Moorish factions is evident in the walls of this large town, from the surrounding ramparts to 15th-century fortress houses and 16th-century palatial houses complete with towers. Spend the afternoon exploring the maze-like streets where stork nests indiscriminately cover the rooftops. B, D
Day 7 Monfragüe to Salamanca
A busy day of sightseeing awaits you on your journey to Salamanca (98 miles, two hours). Begin with a visit to La Aberca whose quaint ensemble of medieval half-timbered houses have earned it National Historical Heritage status. Despite its raised exposure, La Alberca retains a sleepy, rural ambience and it’s not unusual for chickens and horses to block the way!
Continue to the walled frontier town of Ciudad Rodrigo, the scene of a hard fought victory by the British army under the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular Wars of the 19th Century. On arrival in Salamanca, stay two nights at the 4-star Grand Hotel Corona Sol (3Q). B, D
Day 8 Salamanca
Salamanca is an elegant city of golden sandstone buildings and is home to Spain's oldest university, once one of the most prestigious in the world. It boasts a magnificent main square, the Plaza Mayor, while the joined 12-13th-century and 16th-century cathedrals dominate the skyline with their mix of domes, arches and towering Gothic spires. Your tour includes entrance to the old and new cathedrals. Later, perhaps join an optional half-day trip to the beautiful Hacienda Zorita where wine tasting is taken to the next level. B
Day 9 Salamanca to Ávila
Travel to Ávila (75 miles, 90 minutes), pausing en route in Segovia to see the impressive Roman aqueduct and Alcazar which inspired the Disney castle.
Continue to the old Castilian city of Ávila. An impressive set of ramparts and turrets encircle this UNESCO World Heritage city and incorporate the rugged Gothic cathedral, which was built partly as a fortress for protection from the Moors. Before dinner, explore the atmospheric streets on an orientation tour – you’ll have the option to walk along the city’s ramparts which offer outstanding views across the rooftops.
Stay overnight at the 4-star Exe Reina Isabel (3Q), located in the heart of Ávila. B
Day 10 Ávila to UK
This morning, travel to Madrid airport (80 miles, 90 minutes) for your return flight to the UK. B
Go wine tasting at the Hacienda Zorita, an impressive bodega set within extensive grounds and vineyards.
Optional on 9 nights itinerary